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Help us reprint the out-of-print The Order of the Stick books to reach new readers (and let existing fans complete their collections).
Created by

Rich Burlew

14,952 backers pledged $1,254,120 to help bring this project to life.

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Update on Rich's Injury

Hey gang, this is Rich again. Thanks to everyone for the hundreds of supportive messages and kind thoughts that you've all expressed through various channels. They've really helped me keep my spirits up during what has been a decidedly crappy time in my life. The vast majority of you have told me to take as much time as I need to heal up—which I will. But I still thought it would be good to update everyone on my status when I can, and when my wonderfully caring wife can type for me, as she's doing right now. (I'm down to one-finger hunt-and-peck typing otherwise, which is not good for much more than a tweet.)

I had a doctor's appointment Friday, and I'm happy to report that he was pleased with the way everything is healing. I'll have a cast on my hand until the beginning of November or so, after which I'll start physical therapy and we'll see how much control I have over my thumb. I don't know whether I will be able to draw on the computer right away or not—and even if I can, it may proceed a lot more slowly than normal until I get accustomed to it. Output will therefore definitely be low from me for the rest of this year, unfortunately. The regular strip is a high priority, but I'll also need to balance it with the digital stories that the Kickstarter backers paid me for back in March. Crayon drawings will probably need to wait until I'm done with therapy, however long that takes.

For Kickstarter backers, I talked to the folks at Ookoodook recently and they reported that they were expecting to be done with all shipping by today or tomorrow, not counting orders with some sort of problem with the address or whatever. And of course, not counting my autographed packages, which will have to wait until I can sign my name again. I still have to sit down with my wife and go through all the emails about orders that have piled up, so please be patient with us. If you wrote me with a last-minute address change, your package may have mailed without it being processed; we'll figure out a way to make sure your box gets to you anyway, even if it means shipping out a replacement.

Thanks again for all of your patience, and I'll be sure to pop up to let you know what's happening from time to least when anything is happening, which isn't most days. I'm pretty much just laying in bed and reading, watching TV, and sleeping now. And thinking of ideas for future strips, when they come to me. Hopefully I'll get enough good ideas so that when I'm able to draw again, the comics will flow right out of me.

--Rich Burlew

P.S. from Mrs. Giant: I just want to take a moment to personally thank everyone who has sent well-wishes not only to Rich but to me as well. Your kind and caring nature never fails to amaze me. And don't worry, I'm not letting him do anything the doctor tells him to avoid. :)

My thumb, circa early last week.

Important Announcement; Please Read (Sorry this isn't the Belkar PDF yet)

Hi Everyone,

This is Mrs. Giant writing (AKA Rich's WIfe). He wanted me to let you guys know some stuff that's been going on. Rich had an accident earlier this week; he injured his right hand pretty badly on broken glass and was rushed in to have emergency surgery. They repaired some severed tendons in his thumb and he's home now and recovering. But he won't be able to draw for at least six weeks (maybe longer, depending on how quickly the nerves in his thumb heal). And he didn't want to keep you guys in the dark for all that time.

He is planning on writing a more detailed post himself once he's able to sit at the computer and type with his left hand, but right now he's on some pretty strong painkillers. When he feels up to it, he'll be able to let you know when to expect the comic strip to return, as well as the timeframes for getting out the remaining autographed packages and crayon drawings from the Kickstarter Drive. I'll be helping him answer the backlog of emails from that next week sometime, but I don't really know his address-change system yet so it might take a little longer than normal while I learn it. The last few remaining packages that are set to ship from Ookoodook won't be affected by this, so they'll keep going out at the same rate.

Don't worry, OOTS will definitely return; the doctor is really confident that this is going to heal well, we just don't know yet how long it will take. 

You guys have been so supportive and patient all year and Rich is really frustrated that he's letting you down by making you wait even longer for the stories he's been trying to bring to you. Just know that he is as eager to get back to creating the strip as you are to reading it. Thanks in advance for understanding, and hopefully you'll be hearing directly from Rich really soon.

Until then, think healing thoughts :)

~Mrs. Giant

The Steady March of Progress

Sometimes, I don't have much to report except more of the same. Today's one of those days. It's been long enough since the last update that people are getting antsy, but nothing new is really finished. I do have a new shipping chart from Ookoodook, though. Let's take a look:

As you can see, two-thirds of the Sticky Shticks packages have been mailed out already (as well as all of the non-Sticky Shticks that don't require special handling). You may notice that many reward levels have partial fulfillment, in contrast to the previous chart. That's because the warehouse staff had a scare where they though they had run out of patches, and started mailing only those packages that didn't add one. A few days later, they found two big boxes of patches in the back of the warehouse after all. So now everything is back in the queue to ship, but it does make the chart seem pretty random.

Also, we've started trying to contact everyone in the Straggler category, especially those who haven't yet given us their shipping address. If you haven't filled out any surveys for this Kickstarter drive ever (not even back when it ended in February), then you should check the junk mail folder of the email address you provided for us—there's probably a message from us there. Furthermore, if you pledged at the $10, $14, or $15 levels and have not given us your address yet, please email us at kickstarter(at)giantitp(dot)com, except replacing the (at) with @ and the (dot) with a dot. Give us your account name, the level that you backed at, and your shipping address. There are still a lot of these pledges that haven't shipped yet and we'd like to clear them out as soon as possible. EDIT: Please do not use this email address for general inquiries about your order!! Continue to contact me directly through the "Contact Me" link next to Elan on the side.

With that, let's look at the Workometer:

Next time I update, I expect to be giving you the download link to the Belkar story—I still have a couple of pages left to draw, then I need to lay it out for the PDF. Then I need to get my copies of Sticky Shticks shipped to me from the Ookoodook warehouse so I can start mailing out the last of the non-Patience non-artwork signed packages.

Thanks to everyone for your patience. And congratulations to Reaper Miniatures on displacing me as the most funded D&D-related project. Fun fact: plastic minis like the Bones line are light enough to ride on the back of a paper horse from the Monster for Every Season collection. Just saying.


Got Carded

Golly, I wonder what I'm going to talk about in this update, given that you almost certainly looked at the picture below this before reading this sentence OH LOOK:

Yes, that's the long-awaited Sticky Shticks card expansion, in glorious Actual Existence. They arrived in Houston late on Friday, and Ookoodook got to work shipping them out right away. (My copies—for inclusion with signed packages—are still forthcoming.) I was hoping to get some numbers on how many packages the staff had mailed already before half of them got on a plane and/or truck to GenCon, but it was not to be. So all I can say about how many have shipped at this point is, "Some." With more to go out the door through this week and the next, and possibly the one after that. 

Not to be confused with the non-Sticky Shtick orders, which are done. Well, like 99% done. Done enough that they're not a pressing concern anymore, but not so done that anyone who didn't get their non-Sticky Shtick order should be too worried. (Which is to say, "Please don't email me about it yet.") There are still about a hundred stragglers across all those reward tiers that need to be handled individually, and the warehouse is going to concentrate on getting the bulk of the Sticky Shtick orders out before even addressing them.

This is going to be a relatively quick update, because I don't have much to say. Here's the Workometer:

I'm not going to have a "Five Things" section this time, because it's getting to the point where everything I'm doing is reflected on the Workometer already, and I didn't think it was a good use of time to sit here and wrack my brain for five ways to dodge the subject. This past week, I spent waaaaay too much time drawing a single (awesome) wallpaper, I did a couple of pages on the Belkar story, and I got one regular comic update done. That's pretty much it, and most of that is shown up there. So, it may return in a future update, or it may not. I haven't decided. It depends on how much weird extracurricular stuff I end up needing to do in a given period of time.

Oh, and I entwittified about this, but just so everyone is clear: I won't personally be at GenCon this year. There will be an Ookoodook/APE Games booth —#1413, located, I'm told, "right behind Wizards of the Coast." As I said last time, that booth will be selling OOTS books and the board game (but not Sticky Shticks), as well as other APE products, but I won't be sitting there signing anything. And sInce some people have asked: No, you won't be able to pick up your Kickstarter reward from the booth. They simply won't have the ability to look up and verify your order at the convention, and the staff that's staying in Houston will still be shipping those orders throughout the duration.

I think that covers everything that's going on. I'll check back in once I get some numbers from the warehouse about what Sticky Shticks have shipped.

--Rich Burlew

P.S. If you can't wait another moment for a taste of Stickiness, you can download the rulesheet from APE Games now. 

P.P.S. Going forward, I should avoid the phrase "taste of Stickiness" whenever possible.

So Close to Stickiness...

No time for witty introductions!

Sans Sticky Shticks: Remember all those words I said about how they were going to finish the Whole Story packages and then circle back to pick up the Pick Two, Pick Three, etc. packages? Yeah, well, they didn't end up doing that after all. Turns out they didn't have enough of the boxes needed for the Whole Story, so they just banged out those other packages while they waited for supplies to arrive. Many Whole Stories have gone out now, too, and the rest are being worked on, so they should be done very soon. [EDIT: Per Ook, they were working on the Pick Threes when the Whole Story boxes came in, so that list is only partially done. The rest shipped. My mistake.]

With Sticky Shticks: Our printer for these cards was dragging their feet, and eventually told us that they couldn't manage a 3-4 week turnaround—that it would be 4-6 weeks, starting from last week (rather than, say, from when we delivered the actual artwork at the end of June). We said thanks, but we'll take our business elsewhere. We now have a replacement printer who has been doing very good work and hopes to get us the cards late next week. With luck, packages will start going in the mail before half the Ookoodook team leaves to go to GenCon. Speaking of which...

GenCon: I've gotten a lot of emails about whether any of the OOTS stuff offered during this Kickstarter will be available at GenCon, so here's the breakdown: As long as all the Sans Sticky Shticks Whole Story packages have mailed by then (and we have every reason to think that will be the case), then the reprinted OOTS books will be on sale at the Ookoodook booth. The Deluxe Edition of the board game and The Shortening will be, too, but Sticky Shticks will not—even if it's arrived at the warehouse by then. There's just no way that they'll be able to get all the Sticky Shticks orders in the mail before the convention starts, and it wouldn't be fair to sell them to anyone else first. Likewise, none of the "swag" will be there: magnets, patches, stickers, notepads, art prints, or coloring books. While we fully intend for many of the leftovers to eventually be available for sale, we don't want to offer them until every order has been fulfilled.

Now, let's look at the Workometer:

I've been having trouble juggling the digital work with the regular comic (resulting in neither one getting done), but hopefully I can get one more digital reward out before GenCon. Also, you can see that I've added a bar for the Summer edition of A Monster for Every Season; technically, Summer ends on September 22, but I don't know if I'll hit that deadline. I would really like to get one story reward finished before I give you another set of miniatures.

Five Things I Did Since Last Update:

  • Watched the Olympics while doing a few more crayon drawings. If your drawing ends up featuring Belkar on the pommel horse, now you know why.
  • Had to figure out what size wallpapers you crazy kids use on your i-Whatevers. 
  • Reviewed, corrected, reviewed again, and finally approved the art proofs for Sticky Shticks.
  • Mailed back out a bunch of signed packages that were returned to me for assorted reasons.
  • Really failed to answer my emails, but I'll do it today.

So that's about it for this update. Fingers crossed that when next you hear from me, I'll be announcing the arrival of Sticky Shticks in the warehouse.

--Rich Burlew